Latest: Jiří Kratochvíl, founder of the Janáček Quartet, deceased

5 January 2020, 17:00
Latest: Jiří Kratochvíl, founder of the Janáček Quartet, deceased

Janáček Quartet announced today that Jiří Kratochvíl,  founder and long-time member of the ensemble, died on 3 January 2020. He was 95 years old.

Prof. MgA. Jiří Kratochvíl was born in 1924 in Ivančice. He studied violin at the Brno Conservatory. Later he continued at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts where he graduated as a violist. In 1947 he was the founder of the Janáček Quartet, of which he was an active member for 42 years. From the beginning, the Quartet devoted itself to the interpretation of works by Leoš Janáček, whose name it has carried ever since. In 1955, the Janáček Quartet, composed of Jiří Trávníček, Adolf Sýkora, Jiří Kratochvíl and Karel Kafka, undertook their first tour abroad, and over time their musical performances covered all continents. Today's members of the Janáček Quartet are Miloš Vacek, Richard Kružík, Jan Řezníček and Břetislav Vybíral.

In addition to the Quartet, Jiří Kratochvíl was also the concert master of the viola group in the National Theatre Orchestra in Brno. As a respected viola soloist, he also performed with leading Czech symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles. During his time he was also involved in pedagogical activities at JAMU, where he was awarded the title of emeritus teacher. His musical activities play a crucial role in the interpretation of Janáček's String Quartets. The Janáček Quartet recordings are the most significant example of the so-called Brno Interpretation School.

Jiří Kratochvíl died on Friday 3 January 2020 at the age of 95.

Jiří Kratochvíl / Wikipedia archive

Comments

Reply

No comment added yet..

Electronic music, big beat and clubbing go together - but that’s only a small part of the truth. In fact electronic music was here long before clubbing, and thanks to enlightened teachers at JAMU it was doing very well indeed in Brno as early as the 1960s. That is, long before synthesizers and sequencers appeared on rock podiums, long before any old band had a computer, long before the first dance parties in glittering halls and dark cellars. Today electronic music is one of music’s most omnipresent genres: neither dance parties nor contemporary operas can do without it. Electronic big beat music has occupied reggae and swing, remixing is a daily affair, Brno artists have learned to sell instruments they built themselves to the whole world and to amplify an old knitting machine. As early as 1907 the composer Ferruccio Busoni dreamt of the future potential of electronic music, but not even his imagination and genius could have anticipated what Thaddeus Cahill’s first weird experiment with an immense electrical organ would lead to one day.  more

After Easter, an official statement that ruined every folklore lover's day appeared on social networks and in the media. The folklore festival in Strážnice will not take place this year. The reasons are well known to everyone. Yesterday, another wave of coronavirus lockdown easement began, and this was not the only reason why we talked to Martin Šimša, director of the National Institute of Folk Culture (NÚLK) in Strážnice. Well, is there really a reason for mourning? What can we look forward to in the immediate future? And when is the best time to visit the castle park and the open-air museum in Strážnice? These questions, and not only these, will be answered in the following interview.  more

Although cultural life has suffered significantly in the last two months, people's desire for an artistic experience has not faded. On the contrary – art and its role in our lives are perhaps needed even more than before. Hence, although concert halls are empty and listeners are forced to visit them only through recordings of their favourite concerts, a number of well-made music media  created (not only) in the beginning of the year helps to bridge over this unfortunate period.  more

”It’s a long journey to the West, / Pointless, fruitless is the longing,” began the first cowboy song recording issued by R. A. Dvorský’s publishing house in 1939. The theme and tone reflect the “tramping” movement, with its idealized vision of “America” and its unspoiled “nature”, which led Czechs to take to the woods, where they hiked, met round campfires and sang songs modelled on American folk songs and country music. So widespread was the tramping phenomenon that it made its way into popular music, where it long remained. Over time, the romance of the cowboy and the idea of a free life on the Great Plains found their way not only into songs sung by such late twenti- eth-century stars as Karel Gott, Helena Vondráčková and Waldemar Matuška but into social life itself: very few countries in Europe have such liberal laws when it comes to sleeping overnight, or even setting up camp, in the woods. In the past young people in Brno could choose whether to be “city slickers” hooked on discotheques or “wander- ers”, who would head for the main train station every Friday afternoon or Saturday and from there set out on the first train for wherever in the countryside it was heading to.  more

Bands that have been present on the scene for several decades have two options: Either they make a living from their own substance, and therefore from hits of the past. Or they are still trying to come up with something new, sometimes with the wishes of conservative fans in spite of it. The "Brno-based" group Poutníci (meaning Pilgrims in Czech), who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, are somewhere halfway in between. They still play Panenka [The Doll], which the audience demands, but fortunately they didn't get stuck and – maybe after a long time, but still – they come up with a new serial album, which should not pass unbeknown to the fans of Czech country and bluegrass.  more